Walter Connolly

Active - 1932 - 1939  |   Born - Apr 8, 1887   |   Died - May 28, 1940   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Romance, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Rotund American character actor Walter Connolly cornered the market on film portrayals of exasperated businessmen and newspaper men in the 1930s. A successful stage actor, Connolly refused all entreaties by Hollywood producers to enter films. His resistance was broken down a little by an appearance in the 1930 short Many Happy Returns, then he gave in altogether to Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn. Connolly made his feature-film debut in Washington Merry-Go-Round (1932), then appeared in The Bitter Tea of General Yen(1933), wherein he worked for Columbia's premiere director, Frank Capra. Connolly was featured in Capra's next two films, Broadway Bill (1934) and the Award-winning It Happened One Night (1934), then spent the rest of the 1930s bouncing between Columbia and the other major studios in meaty supporting roles--most enjoyably as the volcanic newspaper editor in David O. Selznick's Nothing Sacred (1937). Generally billed just below the title, Connolly was awarded star status when he essayed the title role in his final film, The Great Victor Herbert (1939).

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